Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saskie Slump?

Only two of the five Saskatchewan based WHL teams will head to the playoffs this season.

The Prince Albert Raiders 2-1 loss in overtime to Edmonton tonight sealed their fate as a team out of the playoff mix.

Only Saskatoon and Swift Current are post-season bound. The last Saskatchewan team to win a WHL Championship was the '93 Broncos.

Only one Saskatchewan team made it to the 2nd round of playoffs last season (Swift Current) and the year before only Regina made it to the final eight.

Moose Jaw was the last team from this province to make some noise when they went all the way to the Championship series in 2006 before bowing out to Vancouver in four straight.

Is this province in a WHL slump or are Saskatchewan based teams failing to attract the best talent available? Is the cyclical nature of the league seeing these teams in a down cycle?

What do you think?



Portuguese Sensation said...

I'm starting to wonder if players just naturally want to join bigger markets like Vancouver or Calgary and maybe eventually Edmonton.

Nothing against Moose Jaw or Swift Current or even Saskatoon - but if given the choice to play in Vancouver or Calgary, I think most players would head there over the Sask Cities.

Then again, I'd like to think most players will go where there's a good foundation in the franchise and one where a chance at winning and getting quality ice time is there... so who knows.

Here's hopin the Blades can make some noise this post season.

Anonymous said...

I think the problem is the fact Saskatchewan teams aren't doing what it takes to win like other organizations are! For example, Marc Habscheid wins a WHL title and Memorial Cup, yet he's apparently not good enough to run the Regina Pats(who have yet to advance past the 2nd round in Brent Parker's 14 years running the team). The Moose Jaw Warriors finally get to the finals after more than 20 years of futility, only to reward their head coach with a firing only months later. The Prince Albert Raiders go a decade with one winning season before they discover that Don Clark isn't the right man to lead them to the promised land. The Blades and Broncos have done their part to bring respectability to our province. It's the other 3 organizations who just don't appear willing to get their act together and demand a winner. I'd love to hear any thoughts you or any-one else may have on this.

Brendan McGuire

Kelly Markwart said...

Great topic....hopefully the upgraded arenas in PA and SC, along with MJ and Regina's facility improvements will start to attract more serious considerations from the players.

I don't think there's any doubt that young players and their families are telling WHL teams that they won't report to them if drafted. Maybe this will change?